I have been trying to write fiction again these days–a quiet endeavor, but something I’ve been doing, all the same. The going’s tough and the terrain’s all new, so it feels like picking up a new sport and exercising different muscles (btw, I’m not very athletic). It’s a very odd feeling, to do something I’ve been doing my whole life but finding it an entirely new experience all the same. And to still feel a deep desire to write, despite the hardship.
The way I’m approaching my writing is to figure out what my new strengths might be, post-stroke and in the midst of life events that have opened the door to great feeling. I know I’ve got to have new found strengths. And I’m really really trying hard NOT to see what my deficits are these days (boy oh boy, do I have some writing deficits these days). The curiosity is exciting: what will my writing become?
But it’s a bit discouraging to write and struggle on without knowing my new strengths (part of “leveraging strengths implies KNOWING strengths”), so I honestly don’t spend hours writing each day. Why torture myself? Maybe I ought to.
In this fashion, I’ve written about three hundred words of a new short story. Yes, that is a pitiful amount of writing.
I once said that I write to live, and so I find a great inspiration in putting words down these days. Somehow, writing the pain and sadness and triumphs down give them an even greater meaning, give ME an even greater meaning in the realm of things.
Still, I struggle onward, in great belief.
And when I find myself stalled, I send out some of the stories I wrote before the stroke to various journals. It’s a weird thing to do look at writing from that time period. Can I do it again? Will I write like this? How odd to send the work out. Is it still a representation of who I am?
But what the hell–I print the story out, write the address, and stick some stamps on the envelope. Then I open the mailbox and slide the heavy envelope in. Because I have to keep going. I have to keep believing.